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South American Cougar (V2).jpg

The South American cougar (Puma concolor concolor), also known as the Andean mountain lion, or puma, is a subspecies of cougar that occurs in northern and western South America, from Colombia and Venezuela to Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Puma concolor concolor preys on birds, camelids, deer, sloths, rodents, frogs, agoutis and lizards. It sometimes preys on spectacled bear cubs. In San Guillermo National Park, the vicuña is the cougar's main prey species that constitutes about 80% of its diet. It also preys on guanaco, mice and hares. It abandons kills when harassed by Andean condors, which causes them to kill 50% more prey than North American cougars. Like the jaguar, the South American cougar holds historical cultural significance amongst many South American indigenous people. People in the Andes regard the puma as being either a snatcher of souls, or as a helper of people. The South American cougar's name was used for Incan regions and people. The Chankas, who were enemies of the Incas, had the cougar as their deity